Are you keen to join the 60% of Americans who own an outdoor grill? If so, you’ve got some decisions to make. The main types of grills available in the USA are wood pellet grills, gas grills, Kamado grills, and charcoal grills. Of these, wood pellet grills and gas grills are the most popular. So, they’re a good starting point when considering your options. Read our summary of the showdown between the wood pellet grill vs gas grill to help you decide.
What Is a Wood Pellet Grill?
Wood pellet grills are a hybrid of the classic charcoal smoker, common gas grill, and your kitchen oven. It works by
These grills feature a push-button start. You can set the desired temperature in advance and the internal fan heats it to your requirements quickly.
Compressed wood powers these grills, they’re ignited by a hot rod, and the fan keeps the flames alive. In this way, the grill cooks your food like a convection oven.
What Is a Gas Grill?
Gas grills boast a simpler design, where gas powers the flames which you ignite manually with a match or lighter. Usually, these grills use liquid propane gas from an external tank that’s hooked up to the grill.
You can’t control the temperature on your gas grill beyond the basic, low, medium, and high settings.
Wood Pellet Grill vs Gas Grill Pros and Cons
From the above, it’s clear that many homeowners choose one of these grills over the other due to simple convenience. Yet, there are a few other factors that come into play when you’re deciding which is better for your needs.
These are some things to consider:
Since it has more complex inner workings, you’ll pay more for a wood pellet grill than a gas grill of the same size. However, this depends on your needs.
You can still find compact pellet grills at an affordable price, but you’ll get a bigger, better gas grill for the same price.
It’s important to think long-term when choosing your grill, a bigger grill might cost more to run, regardless of what type it is.
Fuel Efficiency and Costs to Run the Grill
Pellet grills are supremely efficient thanks to the convection fan. So, although pellets are expensive initially, they last longer than gas. They’re also hard to come by, so if you find a type of pellet you like, it’s best to stock up.
Apart from pellets, these grills also need a power supply. Although they use minimal electricity, this decreases their portability considerably.
Propane gas is a readily available and cheap resource, and you can expect to get about 20 hours of grilling from a typical tank.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Pellet grills don’t make much mess during the cooking process, and they don’t require regular cleaning. You’ll need to clean the firepot occasionally to keep your grill in good shape.
You’ll need to clean your gas grill bars, grates, and grease management system at least once a month for it to continue working at its best. This involves a considerable amount of elbow grease and a scrubbing brush.
With a pellet grill, you can roast, smoke, grill, and barbecue your food, although pellet grills usually cook a lot slower than gas grills do.
Pellet grills deliver a good smoky flavor to your meal, but you won’t get the attractive sear that’s possible with gas grills.
These are some of the recipes that work best with a pellet grill:
- BBQ Ribs
- Pulled pork.
- Smoked or BBQ brisket
- Smoked pork tenderloin
- Roasted beer can chicken
- Baked Potatoes
Gas grills are fantastic for grilling at the higher temperatures required to sear meat. You can use them as smokers, but they’re not as effective as other types of grills when it comes to cooking low and slow.
Gas has no flavor, so it doesn’t give your food that delicious smoky taste.
You can still cook some delicious meals on them, like:
- Sticky grilled chicken and chicken wings
- Corn on the cob
- Pork chops
- Grilled asparagus and other vegetables
In fact, most meals come out well on gas grills, but if you want the option to smoke foods, a pellet grill wins every time.
Temperature Control and Speed
A pellet grill reaches the required temperature within 15 minutes and maintains it until you’re done cooking. In general, food takes longer to cook in a pellet grill.
Gas grills heat up within 10 minutes, but you’ll need to fiddle with the controls at first to ensure you maintain the right temperature.
Extras for the Ultimate Grilling Experience
Both types of grills can accommodate a variety of added features. You can get the following extras for your pellet grill:
- Sear grill attachments
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability
- Integrated meat probes
- LCD screens
- Programmable features
Gas grill accessories include:
- Smoker boxes
- Side tables
- Side burners
- Tool hooks
- Built-in thermometers and fuel gauges
- Internal lights
If you’re still undecided after all this, read some gas and pellet grill reviews to help you make up your mind.
Both types of grills provide wonderful opportunities for outdoor grilling enjoyment with friends and family.
You can’t go wrong with either one, so the choice boils down to preference and price.
Once you’ve picked your side in the wood pellet grill vs gas grill debate and found your ideal solution, you might want to know what to use it for. Browse the food section of our website for more ideas and cooking tips.